AN EDITOR REMEMBERS...    Issue 36  Dec 1988 - Jan 1989

Issue 36 is another issue which seems a bit on the skinny size compared with today (just 16 pages), but then it was the third issue within twelve months. As it was due out during the festive season, we featured a 1968 vintage USA Xmas concert advert on the front cover: "A splendid time is guaranteed for all" indeed! The live album Nobody's Perfect had emerged at last, back in June, but few were getting too excited about it, though the band did dress up in medieval costumes for the launch party, perhaps giving Blackmore the idea for his solo project nearly ten years later. The magazine carried reviews along with four more pages of new or rare vinyl, including quite a bit of bootleg vinyl. There was much speculation as to the sources of the live album, something which has never fully resolved itself.

As the group seemed to have forgotten about the UK - again - we jumped on a boat to catch a couple of the German shows (the trip back was less easy as I scored a roll of tour posters off the promoter and dragged them back on the ferry with us!), and found the group looking and sounding much better than they had in ages. The set was still lacklustre in terms of material, but they were really thumping it out, especially at the Bremen show. But was it a bit too late? Split rumours had already began to surface - one reason we made the trip to be honest - but on the other hand some of the band were already keen to get back into the studio and begin the new album, while yet more stories hinted at a Blackmore / Turner meeting which heralded - well, we now know the answer, but at the time we could only guess.

Our trek to Germany was also tempered by Ann being made redundant a week before we went, while my spell freelancing at the printers was also beginning to come to an end. Things had got to a stage where I could no longer rely on them to print the magazine on time (the printing plates were sat around for weeks sometimes, causing immense frustration) so we took this issue elsewhere to speed things up, but it inevitably cost more. Away from the new live album, I was helping to organise the official release of the 1970 Stockholm gig as Scandinavian Nights on the Connoisseur label, the start of a positive relationship in many ways. We weren't able to have quite such a hands on with this one as with later projects, so the front cover left something to be desired, but musically it was sounding promising. We were also involved - to a lesser degree - in the Bolin box set which was being prepared Stateside.

EMI meanwhile ignored the band's twentieth anniversary altogether, though we'd mocked up a great looking special vinyl edition of Shades for them. I had to content ourselves with a feature on the album in the mag instead but it wasn't all bad news as EMI were now starting to look for ideas for the CD format, and we began to put some projects together which were eventually to benefit Deep Purple fans tremendously, and which were the beginnings of the healthy archive scene we see today. Another first for us between magazines was attending a Deep Purple convention - in deepest Poland. I still have vivid memories of the communist checkpoints and border security on the way in and out, but it was a fascinating visit, although very sobering in many ways. I've never had a huge yearning to travel much, but being a Deep Purple fan was a good excuse to try and shake off my isolationism!

RECORD REVIEW : Hush (single)
RECORD REVIEW : Nobody's Perfect (album)
NEWS : Nobody's Perfect Album & Tour
NEWS : The Ultimate Compilation
NEWS : Back To The Recording Studio
NEWS : John Norum


Hush - Single Review

DEEP PURPLE, Hush / Dead Or Alive - Bad Attitude (both live) Polydor 887 636 : June 1988 : UK

Available as a coloured vinyl 7" (POC 4), a gatefold 12" or CD Single. Curious that they should baulk at the idea of issuing a triple album yet be quite happy to make people cough up for tracks which will be on the LP anyway; the cost of the 12" is probably more than the differencei between a double and a triple LP.

In 1969 a live jam produced stuff like 'Child In Time'. Even in 1984 a live jam turned into 'Son Of Alerik', come 1988 it results in nothing more than a patchy rework of an old studio track. Indeed there isn't much in the way of spontaneity here at all once lan Gillan's vocals are taken away. Ho real sense of fun either. Maybe if the song had gone on perhaps just a little longer than the original I would have responded. As a bit of fun on a b-side nobody would have minded much but hyping this up as an a-side is ridiculous especially as it's on the LP anyway. Initial reactions to the live tracks? Rather sterile sound but energetic performances. Too fast maybe, with Glllan unable to catch his breath. Both tracks feature great endings. Why? Primarily suspect because they're the only time the band deviate from the album cuts. It doesn't bode well.

Nobody's Perfect - Album Review

Trailing the old stuff around for a second tour struck me as a dumb move last year and I think the album supports this. To some extent Ian Gillan's contention that it's impossible to capture the feeling of a live show on a piece of vinyl is correct, but you can get close, or at least closer than Nobody's Perfect would suggest. The sound is very clear, but the rather ham-fisted way the sound is suddenly faded in places to allow someone to be heard soloing is off putting, Blackmore's guitar in 'Highway Star' for example. Curiously it's only on 'Smoke On The Water' that the sound seems to achieve the correct balance, rough enough to be exciting, clear enough to hear what's going on.

Solos have been edited, usually by picking short versions, which is a shame - we might have been able to hear Blackmore's blitz in 'Space Truckin' for once. Lordy's solo spot is faded in at the start of one side, sounding out of context as a result. Another minus is the truncated 'Black Night', surely one of the most enjoyable bits of the 87 live show. A lot of the older material is only average and the new stuff sounds at times uninspired .'Hard Loving Woman' is a real mess barring a nice guitar solo.

The Nobody's Perfect Live Album & Tour - News

The live set was announced in one mag as 'Highway Stars' but the more enigmatic title 'Nobody's Perfect' was the final choice. Ian Gillan was keen on 'Deep Purple Forever' but got outvoted. The album was assembled from tapes made of every show on the 1987 tour from East Troy onwards (19 shows in all). some of these were incomplete as they only used one tape machine initially. In the end just three shows were sourced, along with a section of 'Black Night' from a fourth gig. 'Dead Or Alive' on the single also came from another show.

'Hush' turned up from jams in February 1988, Blackmore says they also did 'Black Night' but it didn't work out very well. A video for 'Hush' was assembled, but the band only appear via some old footage from the Providence 1985 show.

Roger Glover has confirmed that a UK tour of smaller venues had been on the cards in 1987, but Gillan's sudden tax exile status had scuppered them. For the 1988 tour, confusion reigned. A large American tour was lined up to take in some two dozen shows, kicking off at the end of July in Saratoga. Dates were included in ads for the live album, however by August most had been cancelled, with speculation this was down to less than wonderful ticket sales. This left just three 'festivals', though in the end two of those (Springfield and Providence) were also cancelled, leaving just Giants Stadiun, East Rutherford intact. To add to the ignominy Aerosmith were given the headlining status. While press reviews of the gig were supportive, people probably better informed say the band were looking rough.

For Europe the Italian and German dates survived, plus one in Denmark slipped in at very late notice. A gig in Spain on October 5th was pulled, reportedly at just 24 hours notice.

Stadthalle Bremen. September 19th 1988 - Live Review

A modern 7,000 seater hall, far from sold out. One half of the side seating was screened off altogether. The gig lacked some of the informal instrumental ad libbing which had made the previous show Hamburg enjoyable, but on the other hand they came out and went into full power from the very start. Highway Star, Strange Kind Of Woman and Dead Or Alive were electric, followed by an atmospheric Perfect Strangers. Black Night is back in the middle of the set, done more or less straight, and followed by Child In Time. lan sounded in very good shape. Ditching his gold lame suit for a pink t-shirt, he gave it everything. Ritchle didn't spark in quite the way he'd done the previous night and as the set progressed it was clear he found the audience too unresponsive.

Lazy was taken minus any trickery, though a neat solo from Paicey livened it up. Beethoven's Ninth was less drawn out than before, followed by a short keyboard solo. Into Knocking At Your Back Door and as before a verse of Space Truckin' to close the set. Encore time, well yes and no. Instead of Woman From Tokyo Ritchle blasted out the old Smoke On The Water riff and it was clear that was all we were going to get. lan Gillan walked purposefully across to Blackmore, had a few words and then belted into the song. It was a decent performance too, nice lighting and dry ice adding to the atmosphere. Suddenly the old strat went up into the air, whammed down onto the monitors, the pieces hurled to the crowd; blink and you'd missed it.

back to the top


The Ultimate - News

As we approach the twelfth anniversary of Tommy's death, it's pleasing to be able to announce a forthcoming release that should at least introduce the man to a new generation of admirers. As you probably know when Tommy died there were hours of tapes left behind, often poorly or inadequately labelled. Rumours about them being sold abounded, but it now seems clear that the collection has remained intact. Our point of contact has been Willy Dixon, who threw himself into the project. Via a contact at Elektra records, who then moved on to Geffen, Willy found someone who was interested in providing the necessary support and backing. (Coincidentally when the contact moved companies, his replacement at Elektra was none other than Jeff Cook, who as you know co-wrote with Tommy over a long period.)

The end results of this effort are close to release, with the final contract being finished in July of this year. The aim is to bring Tommy to the attention of new fans and to give older fans a decent compilation. The sleeve is being done now, and will Incorporate some 75 photographs ranging from Tommy playing his ukelale as a child onwards. I was very humbled when they wanted to use my Kerrang article from many moons ago as the basis for the liner notes, apparently at the request of Tommy's family.

back to the top


Back To The Recording Studio - News

Give Me All Your Love was taken off as the fourth and final American single from the 1987 LP in March 1988, remixed, and with Vivian Campbell adding new guitar parts. The live video which accompanied it was shot in Worcester Mass. With that out of the way, and the touring over, thoughts naturally turned towards the fairly daunting task of beginning a follow up to the incredibly successful album. The stage line-up by then bad been working so well in Coverdale's opinion that he had decided to go into the studio with it after all, the next album being scheduled for March / April 1989. After the success of the re-recorded oldies, they are seriously considering redoing Fool For Your Loving and Ain't Gonna Cry No More , as well as Burning Heart from Vandenburg's own album.

The currently fashionable chart cert of teaming two known stars to record a duet was also mooted. A track called Too Many Tears, considered too quiet for the band, may be taped by Coverdale with Nancy Wllson from Heart (remember he nicked their rhythm section for Here I Go Again 87) or Cher. Thoughts of a live set have been put on hold for now, they're not looked upon with any great favour by American record companies, but the reissue of most of the Whitesnake back-catalogue in America has been doing well - enabling Coverdale to perhaps dig a little further back for stage material next tour; this one being assembled from what was perceived as the only two known LPs in America.


Norum Hughes - News

The promising prospect of Glenn teaming up with John Norum reported last issue had fallen through even before we'd printed the magazine. Hughes was asked to leave Norum's band because while everyone thought he'd got his habits under control, this wasn't in fact the case. So he left on June 25th. Since then there have been loads of stories flying about, that he may team up with Mel Galley once more reforming Trapeze etc. What seems to be happening is that Norum will tour to promote his Total Control album and then once that's over the pair may finally team up properly. Indeed Glenn is scheduled to return to Sweden in January to finish the album the pair began this year, so it may all work out nicely in the end.

back to the top

also in the magazine...
Deep Purple 1988 European tour reviews...Nobody's Perfect reviews....Shades Of Deep Purple retrospective...Deep Purple & family on CD article...Deep Purple, Whitesnake & Rainbow bootleg reviews...
Whitesnake Illustrated Biography news....Video news....


the magazine can be purchased from the dpas online store

joining the DPAS

2003 DPAS/Darker Than Blue.
Not to be replicated, reproduced, stored and/or distributed in any way without prior written permission